Preview: Hawks @ Lakers - 2/14/12

GAME 29: Atlanta Hawks (18-10) at Los Angeles Lakers (16-12)
February 14, 2012 - 10:30 pm - Staples Center
TV: SportSouth | Radio: 680 the Fan
LINKS: Game Notes (pdf) | Preview | Photos from Last Season in L.A.

The Hawks are looking to continue their recent success on the road while spoiling the Lakers return to Staples Center on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. L.A. is playing its first home game since January 31, after completing a 3-3 road trip on Sunday night in Toronto.

The Lakers do not visit Atlanta this season, so the winner of Tuesday night's game also claims victory in the season series. The Hawks have not taken the season series from the Lakers since 1978-79 (3-1).

Injury Report:
Hawks - Al Horford (pectoral muscle) and Jason Collins (elbow) are both out.
Lakers - Kobe Bryant (torn lunotriquetral ligament, right wrist), Steve Blake (costochaondral fracture), and Josh McRoberts (sprained left big toe) have all been nursing various injuries. Blake and Bryant were both in the starting lineup in the team's win over the Raptors on Sunday.

Key Match-Ups:
Last season the Hawks were hurt badly by the Lakers front court combination of size (Andrew Bynum) and skill (Pau Gasol). Atlanta will need all of their big men to play well on the defensive end and keep the battle of the boards close. Josh Smith, Zaza, Ivan Johnson, and newcomer Erick Dampier will all be called on to body up with the L.A. big men.

Both teams will be looking for big production from the shooting guard position on Tuesday night, with Kobe Bryant (29.3 ppg) and Joe Johnson (18.2 ppg) leading their respective teams in scoring. The Hawks are 12-1 when Joe goes for 20 or more points.

- Hawks head coach Larry Drew played two seasons with the Lakers (1989-91) and later served as an assistant coach in L.A.
- Vladimir Radmanovic 166 games for the Lakers from 2006-09.